It probably wasn’t the result the Lowell girls’ soccer team was hoping for, but at least the Cardinals can take solace knowing they still have another game to play.
Despite dominating the proceeding, the Cardinals were forced to settle for a scoreless tie against Oakland Tech in Monday’s Game 2 of the Transbay Series at Boxer Stadium.
After dropping the first meeting of the best-of-three series 2-0 Friday in Oakland, the Cardinals needed at least a tie to force the deciding third match, which will take place on Thursday at Tech (11-7-3). If Lowell (18-4-1) wins that contest, then a penalty shootout will follow, which will determine the Transbay championship.
The first half of Monday’s contest started off slow, with neither team mounting much of a sustained offensive threat. Lowell seemed to have one scoring opportunity in the 20th minute, when sophomore midfielder Lupe Gamez found herself open in the Tech box, but upon waiting for a cross she appeared to be held by a Bulldogs’ defender, but no penalty was called and the Cardinals could not capitalize on the development.
In the second half, the Cardinals maintained a series of offensive forays, forcing the Bulldogs, who did not register a shot on goal all game, into a bend-but-don’t break defensive philosophy.
For a 20-minute stretch midway through the second half, the Cardinals smashed six shots on goal, but Tech goalkeeper Marika Zumbro (seven saves) was impenetrable in net.
The Cardinals’ best chance for a score came on their last shot on goal, in the game’s 62nd minute. Freshman forward Alissa Goldberg received a pass while surrounded by a host of Tech defenders, broke free and fired a rocket at Zumbro from 15 yards out. Zumbro, who also pitches on the Bulldogs’ softball team, leaped to barely deflect the shot over the crossbar to maintain the scoreless tie.
After Goldberg’s shot, the play stayed mostly near midfield, with both teams appearing fatigued by the intense play. Despite racking up 12 shots on goal to the Bulldog’s zero, Lowell couldn’t not even up the series with a win.
“We definitely played better today than we did on Friday,” Lowell coach Ernie Feibusch said. “If we want to get a win on Thursday we have to do what we did in this game, and that’s just keep going at them offensively.”
Lowell 0, Oakland Tech 0
(Oakland Tech leads best-of-three series 1-0-1)
GAME 1: Oakland Tech 2, Lowell 0
GAME 2: Lowell 0, Oakland Tech 0 (tie)
GAME 3: Lowell at Oakland Tech, Thursday, 3:30 p.m.
Will Lowell be able to force a shootout?
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